January 16, 2016, 9:07 pm
January 16, 2016, 9:07 pm
The first of 180 Cuban “refugees” arrived in Texas this weekend, the vanguard of “thousands” that are on the way [First of 180 Cuban refugees arrive in Laredo, by Jesse Degollado, January 15, 2016]. Ironically, the reason so many are arriving isbecause Cuban-American relations are improving and Cuban migrants fear they are going to lose their privileged status. And they should—the policy is a Cold War relic and a way for Latin American countries to continue to exploit us.
Interestingly, the current situation was created because Latin American nations were unapologetically closing their borders to Cuban migrants. In November, Costa Rica closed its border to Cubans being smuggled in from Panama. 8,000 Cubans already in Costa Ricawere prevented from crossing into Nicaragua when that country closed its border to them. This created a diplomatic crisis in Central America and Costa Ricanpresidente Guillermo Solis bemoaned the “lack of solidarity” among Central Americans. [Central American countries agree to safe passage for Cuban migrants marooned in Costa Rica, by Zach Dyer, Tico Times, December 29, 2015]
Our southern neighbors lecture us on how great Latin American immigration is for us—but they don’t seem keen about having immigrants in their own nations. Funny, that.
But not to worry. Several of them got together with the UN-linked International Organization for Migration (IOM). Their plan: fly the Cubans from Costa Rica to El Salvador, bus them to Guatemala, and then bus them to southern Mexico. Nicaragua, which has close ties to Communist Cuba, is thus bypassed. In Mexico, the Cubans receive a 20-day transit visa to get across the country and into the United States [Cubans, Fearing Loss of Favored Status in U.S., Rush to Make an Arduous Journey, by Frances Robles, New York Times, January 9, 2016]
After the first group of Cubans arrives successfully, the plan is to ship all the rest of the 8,000 Cubans in Costa Rica northward [Stranded Cuban migrants say goodbye to Costa Rica as airlift begins, by Zach Dyer, Tico Times, January 13, 2016] Presumably, the 3,000 Cubans stuck in Panama will also soon be on the way.
Supposedly, this is a one-time deal. And there seems to be some tightening up in the region. According to the New York Times (below) Ecuador started requiring visas recently; it didn’t before, so many Cubans started the trek north from there. The Costa Rican government also said any Cubans entering after December 18th will be deported. [Costa Rica to deport Cuban migrants who lack visa, by L. Arias,Tico Times, December 28, 2015]
But whether this plan actually is a one-time deal remains to be seen. The number of Cubans fleeing their homeland for America has increased. And as long as we take them in, they’re going to continue coming by one route or another.
The real problem isn’t the duplicity of Latin American leaders, but the policies of our own government. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and the resulting exodus, Cubans have received special treatment via the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act and its various revisions.
The “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy—Cubans intercepted at sea are sent back to Cuba, but if they can get on U.S. soil, they aren’t deported and can apply for legal permanent residence and citizenship.
Cubans can also be officially admitted as refugees.
Cubans are eligible for the diversity lottery.
Cubans also have their own special lottery, officially designated as the Special Cuban Migration Program [SCMP]. The last registration period was in the late 1990s but it could be re-opened at any time.
The Meissner Memo, issued by former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, mandates that, even if Cubans sneak into the United States illegally, they are entitled to the rights and privileges of the Cuban Adjustment Act.
There’s actually no sign our government is going to change any of these policies any time soon—does Washington ever do anything that might reduce immigration? —but among Cubans there is a perception the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations will lead to a rollback. Thus, the inadvertent effect of détente in the Caribbean is yet another Cuban exodus.
In passing, it’s worth observing other Latinos, especially Mexicans, often complain about the special treatment Cubans receive. Of course, practically speaking, thevast majority of non-Cuban Latinos aren’t deported either. I suppose it’s the principle of the thing.
And they do have a point. Now that America is normalizing relations with Cuba, why should Cubans have a special status?
Indeed, in 2013 even Marco Rubio (!) noticed the Cuban Adjustment Act was being abused and called for its re-examination. He said:
Can anyone imagine a real political “refugee” returning to their country for regular visits? And if Marco Rubio is willing to admit this, why isn’t everybody else?
I have sympathy for Cuba. My family and I visited Cuba in 2014, on a one-week church mission trip. I saw the poverty and Communist propaganda on the island. But I found the people welcoming and friendly, and when they discovered I was American, they seemed even friendlier. Also, the Cubans have done a great job in preserving all those 1950s-era classic cars, including a ’57 Ford Fairlane convertible my family took a ride in.
That said, the best way to help Cubans is to help them in their own country, just as with unfortunates in the Middle East. And though Latin Americans are right about our double standard, U.S. immigration policy isn’t about them, it’s about us. We have the right to permit or forbid the entrance of anyone and of any nationality.
The Cuban Adjustment Act has outlived its usefulness. It ought to be abolished as we prepare for a general immigration shutdown.
The era of mass immigration must end if the American nation is to survive.
That wouldn’t prevent Americans, of their own free will, from helping foreigners through churches, private charities, business investment and trade. But the Cold War is over. The purpose of our immigration policy shouldn’t be to fight anonexistent Soviet Bloc. It should be to serve our own national interests. And it should be decided by Americans, not by foreign governments or prospective immigrants themselves.
Simply incredible! Whatever we do to stop them, they seem to find a way around it – and if they can’t find a way they just come here illegally.
What really gets me is the attitude these Third Worlders seem to have. They believe in Mexico for Mexicans. Nicaragua for Nicaraguans. Guatemala for Guatemalans. But they seem to think that the United States belongs to everyone. Wrong! America belongs to Americans. Not “potential” Americans, but actual Americans.
Some of them have the gall to believe that the moment they set foot here – either legally or illegally – they should be counted as Americans. And it makes not a damn bit of difference to them that their countries would treat illegals as criminals.
They also have no problem with their countries naming Spanish as their official language. Yet if we try and name English as our official language we’re being racist.
Mexico, and many other Latin countries have laws that forbid foreigners from owning land in their countries. Americans cannot buy land in Mexico. They lease it. But Mexicans think it would be unfair to ban them from buying land in America.
In Mexico, it is against the law to fly the American flag in public. The American embassy and its consulates don’t count as they are considered American soil, so the American flag can be flown there.
It seems that Third Worlders are masters of hypocrisy. Or perhaps they feel that their poverty gives them rights that we Americans shouldn’t have because we are so “rich”. Horse manure to that!
They have to be made to understand that their poverty gives them no special right to violate our borders. And how do we make them understand this? By enforcing our immigration laws TO THE LETTER. Deport all illegals regardless of how long they have been here and how they came to be here. Deny their kids entry in our public schools. Deny them admission to our county hospitals except maybe in the case of life-or-death things like car accidents. No driver’s licences. No bank accounts or credit cards. No land purchases (assuming they can afford it). And take away birthright citizenship so their kids that are born here will not be considered American citizens.
If we take away all the perks and freebies and make it as difficult as possible to get work, and impose severe penalties for those who violate our immigrations laws, they’ll think twice before coming here.
I also say we should start forced labour camps for repeat offenders. If they came here to work, we’ll give them work – but on our terms, not theirs.